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On Somalia, Adam Sought Removal of Chopra, Reuters Now Passes Thru

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 16 -- There's been an ongoing spat between the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group under Jarat Chopra and many of those he reports on, in Somalia, Eritrea and even Kenya.

 Back on December 5, 2013, Inner City Press exclusively reported -- and put online -- that Somalia had asked the UN to "terminate the contract" of Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group coordinator Jarat Chopra, in a letter obtained by Inner City Press and then published online here.

   Somalia has asked for a revision of the SMEG's last report, on the topic of "misappropriation of Somalia's public resources."

  The letter was signed by Fawzia Yusef J. Adam as deputy prime minister.

 Now Reuters in Vienna has been handed Chopra's report against Adam, as well as the Shulman Rogers law firm and President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud -- Reuters passed it through but does not put it online. Why?

  The Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group's public report "estimates... an overall international market value of US $360 to $384 million, with profits divided along the charcoal trade supply chain, including for Al-Shabaab." The SMEG puts the Al-Shabaab share at 40% - and says "the remaining 60% is divided between the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) (20%) and Ras Kamboni (40%)."

  Sources informed Inner City Press before (and included) in its December 5, 2013 report that the SMEG had been ordered out of, or "Persona Non Grata-ed" from, Kenya.

  Inner City Press exclusively spoke with senior representation of Kenya on this, and it was denied. Others said the UN's Department of Political Affairs was trying to resolve the situation, particular in light of the Security Council's rejection with eight abstentions of the African Union's request that the Council suspend the Kenya proceedings of the International Criminal Court for a year.

   Since then, the issue has been explained to Inner City Press as more individually-based. Then the Somalia letter specifically asking that Jarat Chopra be fired was obtained.

  In its last report the SMEG named an array of arms embargo violators in Somalia. Click here for Inner City Press' reporting on those violations, including by the UK, which (overly) "insider" Reuters for example neglected to mention in its gushing report. The Reuters pass-through scribe, full disclosure from Electronic Frontier Foundation's Chilling Effects project, has engaged in outright censorship, claiming his "for the record" anti-Press complaint to the UN was somehow covered by copyright and getting it blocked from Google's Search, filing online here.

   We will have more on all this. Watch this site.


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